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EGEB: Plans for world’s largest battery in Nevada, clearing WWII-era bombs for wind, and more

In today’s EGEB:

  • A Nevada solar project has plans for what might be the world’s largest battery.
  • A company is locating live WWII-era explosives to clear the way for offshore wind farms.
  • Hawaii’s new program offers energy upgrades for renters.

Electrek Green Energy Brief: A daily technical, financial, and political review/analysis of important green energy news.

The Bureau of Land Management recently released a draft environmental impact statement for the Gemini Solar Project, a huge 690-megawatt solar facility not far from Las Vegas. The statement contains a few details about the project, but most notably includes this tidbit on the plans:

Integrated, climate-controlled energy storage system (battery system) consisting of approximately 425, 5-megawatt-hour, 4-hour battery systems with approximately 53,550 individual batteries (may be lithium ion) enclosed in a container and installed adjacent to each inverter

According to pv magazine, this 531 MW/2125 MWh battery system would be the world’s largest planned for development, besting the likes of Florida Power & Light’s proposed 409 MW/900 MWh battery, and a planned 495 MW battery storage system in Texas.

With proper approvals, construction on the project could start as soon as this October.

Clearing The Way

PanGeo Subsea is a Canadian company that specializes “in high resolution 3D acoustic imaging solutions to mitigate risk in offshore installations by imaging and identifying geohazards in the seabed and providing detailed soil stratigraphy.” When the company opened, co-founder Moya Cahill only expected PanGeo Subsea’s tech to be used for offshore drilling operations. But times have changed.

The CBC reports on PanGeo Subsea’s work in the North Sea, where the company is helping locate live World War II-era explosives that have remained on the ocean floor all this time (it’s estimated that more than 50 million “bombs, shells and detonators” can be found on the bottom of the Baltic and North Seas). Those explosives are then dug up and detonated, to clear the way for offshore wind turbines.

Cahill can foresee offshore wind coming to Canada’s Atlantic coast in time. As she told the CBC,

“The oil and gas runs through my — well, used to run through my veins. And now I’m glad to say that we’ve really switched over to this offshore renewable sector.”

Aloha, Solar

Greentech Media takes a closer look at Hawaii’s Green Energy Money $aver (GEM$) On-Bill Program, which allows low-income households and renters to benefit from installing solar, with no upfront costs, with the repayment included on your monthly utility bill.

Gwen Yamamoto Lau, executive director of the Hawaii Green Infrastructure Authority (HGIA), told Greentech Media that 43% of Hawaii’s households are renters. The state also has the highest average electricity price and highest average residential bill, so you can see the need for an energy transition.

The state, of course, has already recognized this need. In 2015, Hawaii became the first state to mandate a transition to 100% renewable electricity by 2045. So forward-thinking policies are helpful along the way, and a policy like this actually gives renters a reason to look into solar.

This particular initiative has been popular with landlords and renters alike thus far — it makes rental properties more attractive to renters, and the program was set up to avoid landlord-tenant obstacles. If a tenant leaves a property, the repayment obligation is transferred to the next tenant. There’s also a utility bill savings requirement of at least 10% — if the solar installation won’t cut a tenant’s bill by at least 10%, the financing won’t be approved.

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